I was reading back over what I posted last night – something I really shouldn’t do because I always find things I would like to change – when I realized I left out something rather important in my review of War, Inc.
That is, the film’s impact on me.
Because, like all good satires, it did have an impact that lasted after I walked out of the theater. In spite of being absolutely hilarious at times, War, Inc. is, overall, a rather disquieting movie. This may account for some of the negative reviews, because at times you kind of feel like you’re laughing at a funeral. Gallows humor, I think it’s called.
I mean, here are all these absolutely absurd things happening up on the screen, and you can’t help but laugh, but in the pause after the laugh, you also can’t help but think, “Wait, this isn’t all that far removed from the shit that’s actually happening over in Iraq right now.”
It is a very disturbing feeling.
But that’s not entirely a bad thing. Because we should be disturbed by what is happening in Iraq.
It’s easy for a lot of people to ignore the war, the atrocities that are being committed in our names. Aside from our troops and their friends and families, most of us haven’t had to sacrifice much of anything because of the war. Yeah, we’re paying an obscene amount for gasoline at the moment, but that’s not because of the war. Gas is expensive because Congress hasn’t closed the Enron loophole that lets corporate executives game the system at our expense.
People slap magnetic ribbons on their SUVs and think they’re supporting the troops. Neocons say we can’t leave until we’ve secured “victory” (whatever that means this week), and think they’re being patriotic.
And all the while, people are dying in the name of the bottom line.
I saw Iraq for Sale when it came out on DVD, and it left me so angry I was literally shaking. The effect of War, Inc. was not as severe – probably because I got to release a lot of tension by laughing – but it left me with a definite feeling of needing to do something – march in protest, sign petitions calling for impeachment and war crimes trials for our alleged president, lead an angry mob waving torches and pitchforks up Pennsylvania Avenue, whatever – just something, anything to make this nonsense stop.
It’s a good feeling, I think, and one that more people need to experience.
So if you’re living in one of the cities where War, Inc., is showing, grab a bunch of friends and go see it. Heck, plan a road trip around it if you don’t live in one of those cities.
And then do something.